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Tyre question, probably in the wrong forum :)

benhudsonbenhudson Posts: 7
edited October 2008 in The workshop
Hi all. I'm new, so I'm not entirely sure if this question is in the right forum. It regards a mountain bike being used mostly for road travel, so I thought commuting was about mid way :) Hope that's about right.

Basically, I've got a Carrera Vulcan hardtail (only the XC spec), and as I'm almost entirely using it on road, I'm finding the knobby tires a bit sluggish (they're too wide and heavy for me on tarmac). Having done a bit of research, I'm considering getting semi-slick tyres, for the back at least. Is this a good idea?
Based on reviews and stuff, I think that a Continental Double Fighter 26x1.95 would be about right for the back wheel, but I'm wondering whether something more grippy would be better for the front? (I'm tempted to get some of those street tyres with tiny bobbles on them, but I do sort of need to be able to go occasionally off-road in them, mostly track and trail so I doubt it's a good idea).
I'd welcome any sort of suggestions in regards to what I should chose for front and back, etc. If possible, things I could get from Halfords would be handy as I have some vouchers. My budget is about £20 per tyre max.
Also, while we're on the subject, are there any other things that are recommended to make urban cycling with a hardtail easier, without making it impossible to hit the trails?

Lots of questions, I'm sorry, but I'm a bit lost :)



  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    I am in a similar boat myself, with the added complication that I am 16 stone and need something that will carry that weight without the rims getting bashed on bumps.

    You may also want to consider puncture protection and weight, although the two of these seem to not be easily available together.

    I am looking at:

    Schwalbe Hurricane which I can get cheap on ebay for a pair
    Schwalbe Marathon Plus
    Schwalbe Marathon Plus ATB (This is my preferred Schwalbe)
    Specialized Crossroads Armadillo

    What else to consider? And should I look at something wider so that I dont need the pressures so high for my weight?

    Sorry to hijack the thread but the answers may be of use to you too (except I am sure you are lighter than me...).
  • Feel free to hijack the thread, I don't mind :)
    By the way, another (tremendously noobish) question - will I be ok running tyres of about 1.95 width on rims which are currently running 2.2s? I know I'll need new innertubes.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    You shouldnt need new inner tubes I think. I bought a spare in case of puncture last week and it does from 1.50 all the way up to 2.50 I think.

    Someone will probably tell me I am wrong but I think the only thing you need to check if running wider tyres is that there is sufficient clearance for them.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    If you are only ever using it on the road, get a set of slicks. The difference in the ride will be considerable.

    I put slicks on my wife's and my mtb's a year ago, tranformed the feel of the bike.

    after a few rides we bought road bikes as well.
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • BuglyBugly Posts: 520
    1.5 to 2.5 sounds a bit optimistic to me - narrow tubrd for narrow tyres wide tubes for the wide ones.

    If you ride on the road only go for the narrowest tyre for your rim likely to be 1.5 which is plenty wide for commuting

    Semi slicks and slicks are plenty grippy on the road in dry conditions and running a liittle less pressure works well when its wet
  • Marathon Pluses will cushion your ride (compared to the same pressures you use now on the same width tyres) and protect you very well against the puncture fairy! They should also have less rolling resistance than knobblies.

    For the 25mm version of these tyres, the cheapest overall cost I found was from
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Thanks, everyone :) I love forums where you don't get eaten for asking silly questions. I occasionally do hit the trails so I think semis are probably better. Having said that, is it a good idea to put semis front and back or keep something grippier up front?
  • Depends on how you define trails. If you mean forest tracks and gravel pathways, you can get away with slick tyres. Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Continental Double Fighter 26x1.95 will be fine. I've been off-road on completely slick tyres before and its not bad, it's more confidence than anything. What about the Continental Speed King Super Sonic? The 2.1inch weight next to nothing and work on and off road. They are about £30 so over budget, but they are my favorite tyre so far. They roll really well and grip like poo to an army blanket...
    Inner tubes wise you shouldn't need new ones. Its worthwhile if you are getting new tyres, and especailly if you have any patches on the old ones.
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • Thanks, I'll check that out.
  • I've thought about it some more, and when I get some money I'll stick a Double Fighter on the back and keep going with the cheap XC tyre on the front. If I really like the improvement from slicker tyres and I don't get off the road much, I'll probably put the Double Fighter on the front and have a smoother semi on the back. I think I'll stick some bar ends on as well to make the riding position better on road.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Seem to be mixed opinions on the double fighter from people at CRC

    Seem cheap enough to be worth a punt though...
  • Yeah, I'd seen that and come to pretty much the same conclusion. How much of a difference feeling-wise do Slime tubes make?

    Edit: A bit more of a look around and I think I might go for a Travel Contact instead to avoid all the messing around with heavy slime gunk, but not risk hundreds of punctures.
  • MarkyMarky Posts: 504
    Hi. Just to let you know, I have two new boxed 26 x 2.0 Double Fighter tyres to sell.
    Haven't thought about price really, if you want to make an offer that's fine.
    [email protected]
    or 07948 164188
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    Schwalbe Marathon Plus ATB is your way forward if your still doing some off road, Schwalbe Marathon Plus if it's just paths and bridleways, road only Schwalbe City Jet
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
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